The Self Build Self Help Site Some Good Things to Have

A one-stop shop of information for people interested in self build - whether self building a complete home or undertaking an extension, renovation or modification.


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Some Good Things to Have

Core bit drills

Core bit drills are specialist, and not cheap. They are specifically designed for use with core bits, and incorporate a clutch. This will ensure that, if the core bit jams, your shoulder is not wrenched from its socket!

Unless your are very clever and can incorporate all openings for vents and pipes within the blockwork during construction, you will need to drill holes in the blockwork at some stage. And a 110mm hole for for foul waste takes some drilling! - and if it jams you will definitely be thankful for the clutch.

Electric planer

A good use for an electric planer, but not always needed, is to trim any high points on joists before putting floorboarding down. This should not happen if the joists have been gauged properly.

Likewise, roof truss rafters should be quite regular, but it has been found that one or more stick out of line. Even the most careful roofer may find that this happens. You can either put up with a slight ireregularity in the line of the roof, which won't be so noticeable from ground level, or trim the offending rafters - but take care if the gang nail clips are near the top surface.

Another good use is to trim doors - either the width or to allow for the fitting of carpets.

Tile Cutter

A good quality tile cutter is essential and, as well as a manual cutter it is really worth getting a diamond wheel cutter. Don't necessarily get the cheapest - more expensive ones come with a bigger bed which makes cutting larger tiles much easier. With a diamond cutter, intricate profiles are easy to cut and you should not suffer broken tiles.

Other Good Things

The items below are in addition to what you would normally have in your tool box, and the obvious items such as buckets and shovels. Even if you are hiring in trades, you may still be expected to provide some of these - brickies do not usually provide their own scaffolding boards.

Trestles and Scaffolding Boards

Scaffold boards will be required very soon in the build to allow wheel barrows to cross the foundation trenches. After that, in conjunction with trestles, photograph available from this link they will allow the brickies to gain some height for block laying - but take care and observe safety - see the H&SE PDF Work at Height Regulations 2005 .


Such as manufactured by Wolfcraft and Black and Decker, these are a common DIY item and have many uses in a house build.

Saw horses

Sturdy wooden ones are usually home made but fairly good plastic ones can be obtained from tool suppliers and DIY stores. Useful on their own or to support timber when cutting with a slide compound saw - but you can get ball and roller support trestles for table and slide compound saws.


Even cheap plastic ones will come in useful for (amongst others):
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